Tilsit, Treaty of

Tilsit, Treaty of
   The peace ending the War of the Fourth Coalition. The French Emperor Napoleon I (see Bonaparte, Napoleon ) was at the zenith of his power following the French occupation of Prussia in October 1806 and the defeat of the Russians at Friedland on June 14, 1807. Napoleon and Alexander I met at Tilsit on a raft in the River Niemen to discuss the terms of peace. Sharing common hatred of the British, a persuasive Napoleon brought Alexander I to agree to observe the Continental System and recognize the Confederation of the Rhine. A secret clause bound Alexander to declare war against Denmark, Sweden, and Portugal if they permitted British shipping in their ports. Russia was also given a claim on Finland, which the tsar then tested against Sweden in 1809. The tsar recognized Napoleon as the emperor in Western Europe in return for his own claim to rule the East. Prussia lost all territory west of the Elbe River; the Kingdom of Westphalia established with Jérôme Bonaparte as its monarch; and Danzig was restored as a free city. Two of Napoleon’s other brothers were given the thrones of Holland and Naples, and France agreed to share certain European territories of the Ottoman Empire with Russia. The Franco-Russian alliance lasted until 1810, when the tsar allowed neutral ships to land in ports of Russia and Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
    Alexander, R. S. Napoleon. London: Arnold, 2001;
    Englund, S. Napoleon: A Political Life. New York: Scribner, 2004;
    Markham, J. D. Napoleon ’ s Road to Glory: Triumphs, Defeats and Immortality. London: Brassey’s, 2003.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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